A new addition to the terrestrial nitrogen cycle

This post contributed by Lindsay Deel, a Ph.D. student in geography at West Virginia University and Intern with ESA’s journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Memorizing diagrams of the nitrogen cycle – complete with all the little arrows flowing between atmospheric sources to uptake by vegetation – is a rite of passage for most undergraduate ecology students.  Now, following a new study published in the journal Nature, the...

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Looking to the Jersey Shore for CO2 sequestration

Riding on the heels of Copenhagen, a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlined one way the United States might address enormous CO2 emission levels. Not surprisingly, the researchers propose carbon sequestration; it is the location, however, that makes this study unique.  Beach at Sandy Hook, New Jersey Photo Credit: National Park Service The scientists have pinpointed volcanic rock,...

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Biofuel’s indirect environmental effects

Biofuels hold promise for reducing the world’s consumption of unsustainable fossil fuels.  But like any new technology, they come with their own host of issues and problems.  One such problem is the so-called “indirect” effect of biofuels on the landscape and the atmosphere. For example, when farmlands are converted to biofuel crops, the food formerly grown on those lands needs to be grown somewhere else.  This could...

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Oceans can’t keep up with human emissions

A study out in Nature today puts some long-term figures on a trend that climate scientists and ecologists have seen coming for some time: Oceans are no longer absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere like they used to. Growing ocean acidity is slowing their ability to keep up as humans pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The study, conducted by Samar Khatiwala of the Georgia Institute of Technology and...

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Biophysical climate feedbacks revealed at NASW 2009

Science writers from around the country gathered in Austin this week for their annual conference, put on by the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. The meeting attracted some 300 science writers – journalists, editors, communications professionals, etc. – for several days of talking about science and the craft of writing. In the current media environment where...

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